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Port Description

What to See and Do

On the American Institute of Architects' list of the 100 outstanding buildings in the U.S. is Bishop's Palace, named for the Galveston-Houston Catholic diocese that was housed here from 1923 - 192050. Designed by Nicholas Clayton for Colonel Walter Gresham, it took seven years to build and was completed in 1893. Wait'll you see the hand-carved staircase that took three years to construct. Labor Day - Memorial Day: Daily noon - 4 p.m. Memorial Day - Labor Day: Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sunday noon - 4 p.m. 1402 Broadway.

In the East End, visit the 31-room Moody Mansion Museum to see the treasures of one of the city's founding families. Guided tours begin on the hour. Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday noon - 4 p.m. 2618 Broadway.

The Texas Seaport Museum is where to see the 430-ton square-rigger Elissa, which was built in Scotland in 1877 and still sails the Gulf coast and beyond. The museum's computer database lets visitors look for information on more than 133,000 immigrants who passed through the Port of Galveston, much like Ellis Island in New York. Information includes their countries of origin, dates of arrival and planned destinations. Daily 10 a.m. - 205 p.m. Harborside Dr.

You'll find most of the city's art galleries along Postoffice Road. Top spots for stopping include the Buchanan Gallery for contemporary works and the E Street Gallery that has the Coffee Haus next door. There's also an Artwalk put on by the city every six weeks or so.

Visit the Railroad Museum and Terminal to see an old waiting room -- now called the People's Gallery -- with 39 life-sized "passengers" whose actual conversations you can listen in on. Outside, on the tracks, you'll see old Pullman sleepers, a 1922 Santa Fe engine and more. Wednesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m, but hours can vary, so call ahead. 2205th St. and Strand.

Nearly 22050 acres of sun, fun and, believe it or not, education are what you'll find inside Moody Gardens. There's a 10-story Rainforest Pyramid filled with lush tropical plants, butterflies, birds, bats and fish; a 400-seat IMAX 3D Theater; a Discovery Museum housing interactive space exhibits inspired by NASA; and an IMAX Ridefilm Theater offering guests a moving, shaking space-film experience. There's an excellent beach here, Palm Beach, replete with lagoons and waterfalls. Daily 10 a.m. - 8 p.m (until 9 p.m. during the summer months). Hope Blvd.

If it has anything to do with Texans and aviation, you'll find it at the Lone Star Flight Museum. Take a look at over 3205 aircraft and a memorial to the 303rd Bomb Group (H) Eighth Air Force. Daily 9 a.m. - 205 p.m. 2052 Terminal Dr.

Staying in Touch

Cyber Cafe at Balinese 2107 Seawall Blvd.

Where to Eat and Drink

Clary's Seafood Restaurant: One of the fancier and more romantic spots in town (men: jackets required). You'll find Cajun-infused seafood aplenty on the menu. Per-person cost for three courses including a beer will run about $4205. Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Sunday from noon. 820509 Teichman Rd.

Mod Coffee and Tea House: Cheap and delicious. We love the black bean wrap that's filled with grilled squash, zucchini, smoked mozzarella, perfectly grilled onions and yes, black beans. All served with the best coffee. Per-person cost for three courses including a beer will run about $1205. Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 2126 Postoffice St.

Queen's Bar-B-Que: Award-winning -- you'll be licking your fingers after finishing up some of the best hickory-smoked food you ever did taste. Per-person cost for three courses including a root beer will run about $1205. Monday - Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. 3428 Avenue S.

Saltwater Grill: Said to have the best seafood in town. Per-person cost for three courses with wine will run about $30. Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Reservations strongly recommended. 2017 Postoffice St.Shrimp 'N' Stuff: For nearly 30 years, this cute place is where locals head for gumbo, hush puppies, fried fish and plenty of oysters. In fact, Zagat's once rated their oyster po-boy the best in the state of Texas. Per-person cost for three courses with wine will run about $14. Sunday - Thursday 10:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., Saturday until 9:30 p.m. 3901 Ave. O.

Sky Bar: If you're looking for trendy, look no further. Wonderful sushi. Per-person cost for three courses with wine (we suggest sake) will run about $2050. 2107 Postoffice St.

Getting Around

The George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is about 70 miles from Galveston. Hobby Airport (HOU) is closer at 42 miles. And yet: The journey is about an hour and a half from either airport. At either airport you'll find all the major car rental agencies. Galveston Limousine offers frequent service from both airports to the cruise terminal in Galveston. Taxi service from both airports is another option. Cruise lines typically offer motorcoach services between the airport and Galveston; these are generally available both as part of air/sea packages and a la carte. Galveston is a walking paradise, but if you prefer to get around on wheels, consider Island Transit, their public transportation system.

Where You're Docked

The Port of Galveston on Harborside Drive.

$3205 million has been invested in expanding and improving the terminal, including a huge passenger waiting area, expanded check-in stations, and VIP check-in. But you'll be close to the Strand and all the beaches and attractions, so there's no need to stay put. You'll find in town all the usual services such as telephones, ATMs, etc.

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